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PSALM 81

Ps 81:1-16. Gittith—(See on Ps 8:1, title). A festal Psalm, probably for the passover (compare Mt 26:30), in which, after an exhortation to praise God, He is introduced, reminding Israel of their obligations, chiding their neglect, and depicting the happy results of obedience.

1. our strength—(Ps 38:7).

2. unites the most joyful kinds of music, vocal and instrumental.

3. the new moon—or the month.

the time appointed—(Compare Pr 7:20).

5. a testimony—The feasts, especially the passover, attested God's relation to His people.

Joseph—for Israel (Ps 80:1).

went out through—or, "over," that is, Israel in the exodus.

I heard—change of person. The writer speaks for the nation.

language—literally, "lip" (Ps 14:1). An aggravation or element of their distress that their oppressors were foreigners (De 28:49).

6. God's language alludes to the burdensome slavery of the Israelites.

7. secret place—the cloud from which He troubled the Egyptians (Ex 14:24).

proved thee—(Ps 7:10; 17:3)—tested their faith by the miracle.

8. (Compare Ps 50:7). The reproof follows to Ps 81:12.

if thou wilt hearken—He then propounds the terms of His covenant: they should worship Him alone, who (Ps 81:10) had delivered them, and would still confer all needed blessings.

11, 12. They failed, and He gave them up to their own desires and hardness of heart (De 29:18; Pr 1:30; Ro 11:25).

13-16. Obedience would have secured all promised blessings and the subjection of foes. In this passage, "should have," "would have," &c., are better, "should" and "would" expressing God's intention at the time, that is, when they left Egypt.

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